Despite advances in technology, the way many of us use our phones, PCs, laptops and pretty much everything else containing a chip or circuit board remains well and truly stuck in the past.
So how many of these unwritten rules still apply when it comes to devices today – and were they ever actually true in the first place?
Writing on behalf of The PC Support Group, Matthew Crist takes a closer look at some relatively unknown tech fables.
1. More mobile bars means more signal
The bars on your phone actually indicate the signal strength from the cell tower nearest to you, and have no bearing on your ability to make a call. Your mobile reception still depends on how many people are connected to that tower. So you could still make a call perfectly with just one bar, while struggle to be heard when you have all five.
2. LED and LCD are different
The only difference between an “LED TV” and an “LCD TV” is the type of backlighting it uses. LED displays use light-emitting diodes (yes, you’ve guessed it LEDs!) to illuminate the display – whereas non-LED sets (such as LCD TVs) use fluorescent backlights – following??
3. The 30 second rule
Waiting 30 seconds to reboot your computer can seem to take an eternity. Well there is a quick and simple alternative. Don’t wait that long! There is no evidence that a computer needs to be turned off for half a minute before rebooting; with some experts suggesting anything between 5 and 15 seconds at the most.
4. Turning a computer on and off regularly is bad for it
The less time a PC is working, the longer it should last. PCs also produce heat when they are working, so turning them off reduces cooling loads. The thing is, most PCs reach the end of their useful life well before the effects of being switched on and off multiple times have any kind of impact on their service life. So unless you are still making do with your Amiga 500 from 1990, you should be OK.
5. Macs don’t get viruses
Apple once claimed that their computers were immune from bugs and viruses, but were forced to change their marketing approach when the claim was proven to be, well, completely false. While not as widespread as they are on Windows PCs, Macs are definitely not immune from viruses – something that was illustrated in April 2012; when more than 600,000 Macs worldwide were reportedly infected with the Flashback Trojan bug.
6. More megapixels means better pictures
It’s true that more megapixels means more detail, especially in larger photos. This isn’t just down to pixel count though, it also depends on the camera’s sensor. The larger it is, the more light data it can be picked up, and the more detailed your images will be.
7. 16GB means 16GB of storage
Not true. The amount of storage on a phone varies according to the size of its operating system and pre-installed apps and software, also known as Bloatware. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is advertised as having 16GB of memory, but actually only offers around 9GB of free storage space.
8. Closing Apps can increase battery life
This one is difficult, mostly due to the fact that different phones use different operating systems. However, even after a number of tests carried out by independent experts, the results have been inconclusive. It seems closing background apps on iOS and Android platforms in order to improve battery life very much depends on the app itself and there is no general rule.
9. Run your battery down before charging
Remember when we were always told that is was best to run down the battery of a mobile phone before charging it again? Well, this may have been the case for those old enough to remember the old Nokia 6210, but today it’s not as straight forward as that. This particular theory originates from the days of the old nickel cadmium batteries that suffer from a memory effect. However, they are no longer present in modern devices which rely on lithium batteries. Even so, many experts are still divided on whether to keep your battery topped up or run it down completely before charging.
10. Airport scanners ruin your memory card
As if the hassle of removing your shoes, belt, watch, coat and just about everything else as you go through airport security wasn’t enough; the sight of your bag, which happens to contain all your holiday snaps, disappearing down to conveyor belt towards a huge X-ray machine is enough to turn any dream vacation into a nightmare. But don’t worry; there simply is no truth in the myth that scanners will erase your pictures.